Mount Pleasant hobbyists consider gaming group a critical hit
Every Thursday, Jeremy Sullivan sits down for a night of gaming.
But instead of an elaborate controller, he guides his heroes with dice and cards.
Sullivan is a member of the Mount Pleasant Gaming Association, a registered student organization focused on bringing people together to play different types of non-electronic games.
Mount Pleasant resident Allen Shock said he helped found the club in 1986.
“(MPGA) allows all kinds of games, role playing games, board games, card games,” Shock said. “But we prefer games that don’t require batteries.”
He said the club offers an alternative option to students who don’t like going to the bar.
Novi junior Nick Bowman takes his turn while playing the "City of Thieves" board game during Thursday night's Mount Pleasant Gaming Association meeting held in the Bovee University Center's Isabella Room. The group meets weekly on Thursdays at 6 p.m. and new members are always welcome. (Leah Sefton/Staff Photographer)
Sullivan, a Grant sophomore, said he has been attending the weekly gathering since last year after his girlfriend and club president Hannah Jenkins introduced him to the club.
“Last year, I played ‘Axis and Allies,’ ‘Command and Conquer’ and other games like that,” Sullivan said. “But this year, I am playing role playing games like ‘Marvel Superheroes’.”
He said the weekly get-together is always full of “good times and good people.”
That is the atmosphere Shock said he has tried to cultivate throughout the two-and-a-half decades of weekly gaming arranged by the group.
MPGA’s faculty advisor Larry Brunner said he likes the group of people who come every week.
“We have a really good mix of people,” the associate professor of economics said. “There are students, people within the town and a few who commute every week.”
One of those commuters is Grace Daines, who has made the trek from Midland every week with her husband Joe since January.
She said after her three children went off to school, they were looking for more people to play games with.
“We stumbled upon the club while looking for people to play with,” she said, “and we have been coming back every week.”
Former CMU student Ben Wolpoff said he started attending the club when he was a student and still makes the commute every week from his hometown of Chelsea.
“My entire social group is still up here,” he said. “So I come up every Thursday and stay for the weekend.”
One of the reasons the RSO is so unique, Wolpoff said, is many students continue coming even after leaving Central Michigan University.
Shock said they are always looking to expand too.
“We could definitely use more people, especially to run games,” Shock said. “Plus it’s free to join, there are no dues.”